City budget gets revised for camera revenue

The proposed changes include adding $1,075,000 on the revenue side from the cameras.
The proposed changes include adding $1,075,000 on the revenue side from the cameras.

The Bell administration revised its proposed general fund budget with an additional $1 million expected from red-light- camera revenue, and earmarked the extra money for a list of additional expenses.

Making revisions to the city’s general fund budget before approval is common, Deputy Mayor Steve Herwat said.

Council must pass the budget by March 31. The proposed changes include adding $1,075,000 on the revenue side from the cameras, which were installed throughout the city to detect speed violators, minus $305,000 to reduce the use of carryover money, for a net change in revenues totaling $770,000.

The request also removes from the spending side of the ledger $210,000 to put into a “rainy-day fund” and $262,998 that includes savings from Lucas County emergency management, salary savings from positions in solid waste and human resources, reorganization of civilian positions in police, and savings in finance administration.

The new requested spending is as follows:

●$300,000 for jail contracts.

●$100,000 additional cost for a software system used in the city inspection department.

●$198,200 for three additional fire recruits from December. The original class size was 40.

●$101,306 for increased cost of the trash-collection contract with Republic Services.

●$49,002 for an additional employee in the city recreation department to work at the Friendship Center.

●$40,000 for records scanning.

●$30,000 for historical preservation.

●$10,000 for the city youth program.

●$13,281 for approved pay increases for the city’s plan commission director, auditor, clerk of council, and assistant clerk of council.

●$100,129 for the Erie Street Market, which was added after a deal to sell the building fell through.

●$88,375 for five more police officers. The 2013 police class will have 50 instead of 45.

●$50,300 for one contract police department employee for the entire year.

●$25,000 to cover anticipated 2013 marina operating costs.

●$16,795 for environmental and engineering services.

●$50,000 for the “Eye Citizen Program” text alert program.

●$70,610 for the city’s department of information and communications.

Councilman George Sarantou, chairman of council’s finance committee, said the city is being cautious by reducing what it expects to allocate toward the 2013 rainy-day fund.

“I think they are being realistic adjusting the red-light camera [figures],” he said. “But with what they expect to put into the rainy-day fund, they are being very cautious, and I would rather weigh on the cautious estimation of numbers.”

Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171.